Antonio Conte reveals Tottenham were hit by a sickness bug that forced players out of training with fevers and vomiting ahead of their win over Burnley… with Hugo Lloris, Dejan Kulusevski and Harry Winks among those to have fallen ill
- Several Spurs players missed training through illness before they faced Burnley
- Manager Antonio Conte said after the game that vomiting and fever hit his squad
- Hugo Lloris started despite being affected and Dejan Kulusevski came on later
- Spurs won 1-0 in the Premier League to boost their Champions League ambitions
Antonio Conte saluted the spirit and progress of his Tottenham players as they fought off a virus to pile the pressure back on Arsenal in the race to finish fourth.
Hugo Lloris produced a clean sheet against Burnley despite feeling the ill effects of a bug also troubling subs Dejan Kulusevski, Harry Winks and back-up goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini, and forcing them to miss training on Saturday.
‘Hugo had a fever but there was no chance of him missing an important game,’ said Conte, who named two goalkeepers on the bench as insurance.
Antonio Conte (second from left) said Dejan Kulusevski (right) was ill before the visit of Burnley
Hugo Lloris (second from right) was also unwell but featured for the entirety of the 1-0 victory
‘It wasn’t easy because the doctor sent me a message yesterday that a few players did not feel well with a stomach problem, vomiting and fever.
‘They showed they are very professional and understand the moment well. The players were not in 100 per cent physical condition but Hugo is our captain and he never, never wanted to miss this game.’
Harry Kane scored the only goal, a disputed penalty in first-half stoppage time and Spurs moved fourth, two points ahead of Arsenal who are in action at Newcastle on Monday.
‘It’s not easy to play against Burnley,’ said Conte. ‘They tested our nerves because it was vital to get three points. We had to do our task and win to put some pressure on Arsenal.
Harry Winks (right) and Pierluigi Gollini were also stricken but were on the bench for the game
‘We know very well it is not easy to play against Newcastle, especially since the arrival of the new manager.
‘They are in a good spell and it is not an easy game. I will watch the game because I love football and I want to watch and I want to suffer.’
Regardless of what happens at St James’ Park, Spurs will go into their final game at Norwich on Sunday with a chance of finishing fourth.
‘It is a big achievement,’ said Conte. ‘I don’t forget our path since November. I saw a team that improved a lot and deserves, in the same way as Arsenal, to go for a place in the Champions League.
‘It is positive for the team, the players and the club to fight for something important. We will see what happens.
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